Nexium and Nexium 24HR (esomeprazole) are antacid medications manufactured by AstraZeneca and intended to treat problems like acid reflux and heartburn. It is also a commonly prescribed treatment for cases of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Nexium is considered a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), a type of antacid that interferes with the proton transport system of certain stomach cells, thereby limiting acid production. While these drugs do achieve the goal of reducing stomach acid, PPIs have become the subject of much controversy regarding possible links to serious and life-threatening health risks.
Although proton pump inhibitor drugs are not new to medicine, only recently have concerns about long-term health risks come to light. Patients who have taken Nexium and later developed other health issues have begun to question whether those problems may have resulted from their use of PPIs. With doctors and researchers worldwide naming PPI medications as the prime suspect, patients have begun filing lawsuits to receive compensation for the harm done.
Perhaps the greatest concern with regard to PPI side effects is the evidence linking it to the development of a condition called interstitial nephritis, which occurs when the space between the renal tubes of the kidneys become inflamed. When this area is swollen, the function of the kidneys can be negatively affected, leading to pain and discomfort, reduced urination, and even end-stage kidney disease, which ultimately leads to kidney failure.
Kidney failure is not the only issue healthcare professionals are concerned about; there have also been investigations into the potential links between drugs like Nexium and the development of dementia, vitamin deficiencies, bone density issues, heart disease, and other very serious health conditions. Studies of these issues are not as plentiful as the research on kidney failure, but the results that have been published have still been alarming. For example, a German study recently suggested that those taking PPI drugs could have a 44% risk of developing dementia.
In June 2015, AstraZeneca issued a voluntary recall of one particular lot of Nexium 20 mg capsules. This recall was prompted by the discovery that several bottles from that lot contained capsules of the antipsychotic medication Seroquel XR at 150 mg instead of the 20 mg Nexium capsules. As a Class II recall, patients were not required to be notified unless their doctors suspected a direct health risk.
Several other recalls have been issued by manufacturers of generic esomeprazole, mainly for minor reasons. Despite recent safety concerns and ongoing FDA reviews, no other major Nexium recalls have been issued thus far.
In addition to worries about kidney disease and other such long-term repercussions of PPI use, Nexium and Nexium 24HR pose the risk of side effects even in the short term.
Examples of such side effects include (but are by no means limited to) the following:
If you believe you’ve been a victim of harm from Nexium, you may be owed compensation for your losses. However, not every situation can be deemed suitable for a lawsuit. Determining whether or not you have a case for legal action must be done through careful consideration of things like the severity of the harm done, the details of your medical records, and how likely it is that your use of Nexium is the cause of your ailments.
To truly determine if you are able to file a lawsuit, you’ll want to speak with a lawyer who is experienced in the fields of drug safety and personal harm. Your attorney will be able to look at all the information you provide and use their legal expertise to make a conclusion.
Thousands of lawsuits have already been filed alleging harm caused by Nexium and other proton pump inhibitor drugs. In late 2017, many of these lawsuits were pulled together into a single multidistrict litigation (MDL)—a type of legal action in which the suits remain separate but are considered as a group under a single court.
No Nexium lawsuit settlements have been issued for this MDL yet, as the first bellwether (test case) trial is not set to take place until 2020. While plaintiffs and their lawyers wait for the trials to begin, other lawsuits concerning PPIs like Nexium continue to be filed across the country.
AstraZeneca has also faced several other PPI lawsuits, including one involving deceptive marketing practices meant to push consumers toward Nexium when their patent for Prilosec ran out. This lawsuit alone yielded a settlement of $20 million in 2015. In that same year, another manufacturer paid out $24 million for being caught conspiring with AstraZeneca to suppress the production of generics.
As a patient seeking the medical expertise of a doctor, you trust that you’ll be given an appropriate treatment that is safe for you to take as directed. Unfortunately, your doctor also has to trust that the pharmaceuticals they offer you have been properly tested and won’t pose any known risks to your health. When things go wrong, the manufacturers who failed to provide a safe drug need to be held accountable. That’s where the harmful drug lawyers at Saunders & Walker P.A. come in.
Our attorneys have decades of experience representing those who have suffered personal harm from unsafe products. Not only will we help you determine whether or not you have a case for a Nexium kidney lawsuit, we’ll help you build a strong, evidence-backed case to fight for the compensation you deserve. Not sure how to take legal action? We’ll teach you everything you need to know and guide you through the process of filing your Nexium lawsuit so that you can focus on your health and life.
To learn more about how we can help, contact us online or call us at (727) 579-4500 and schedule a free consultation with a lawyer.